Letter from the Board President
We are thrilled to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of
Legal Aid of Marin. For ﬁve decades, we have committed
ourselves to providing free legal services to low-income and
underserved residents of Marin County. With your help
and the support of our devoted and talented panel of more
than 200 pro bono attorneys, we are proud to dedicate
ourselves to the promise of Justice for All for years to come.
We continue to be a vital and effective resource to communities and residents
throughout Marin County. Legal Aid staff members are out in the community
bringing information, education and advice to every corner of Marin. We
are champions of workers whose rights are violated and friends and advocates
for families when abuse and neglect have torn them apart. We care about
the homeless and have developed special programs to bring services to those
forced to live on our streets, who often ﬁnd it difﬁcult to seek out help on their
own and our continued focus on housing and tenants’ rights provides critical
intervention to prevent people from becoming homeless in the ﬁrst place. We
have also increased our attention on the terrible problem of ﬁnancial elder abuse
faced by older adults in our community, who can count on us for support.
But there is so much more we could be doing and, with your support, we must
continue to expand our services to meet the overwhelming needs of the most
disadvantaged members of our communities.
Legal Aid of Marin has made great progress since 2001 when we walked away
from federal funds that imposed unacceptable restrictions on the people we
could serve. With critical support from the Marin Community Foundation and
supporters like you, we not only survived that transition but have strengthened
the organization and its impact on the community. Our ﬁnancial statements
demonstrate we are careful with the investments you make in us, with 82% of
our funding directly supporting the programs that serve the community. We
also leverage your investment through in-kind volunteer support to deliver more
than $1,000,000 in pro bono services each year.
Our accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication
of the extraordinary staff, the generous volunteer Board, our team of devoted
volunteers and the community support upon which we depend. We are very
grateful to all of our grantors and contributors and we ask for your continued
support as we begin the next 50 years of service.
Together we can make a difference.
I n 1958, Dwight Eisenhower was President of the United States, Elvis Presley was
inducted into the military, Goodwin Knight was Governor of California, the Giants
brought professional baseball to Seals Stadium in San Francisco and the Legal Aid Society
of Marin was incorporated.
The following attorneys were among the founders on April 19, 1958:
Bruce Bales Jay MacMahon Thomas Schaal
Ann L. Diamond Bryan McCarthy Carl Shapiro
Robert Elliott E. Warren McGuire Robert A. Smallman
James M. Fletcher David Menary, Jr. Peter Smith
Harold Fulkerson Howard K. Morehouse Leonard A. Thomas
Ed Grundstrom Clark Palmer Delger Trowbridge
Herb Hawkins Robert Praetzel Harold Truett
Leland Jordan Fred Robbins Ed Ward
Arthur M. LeBow Hadden Roth Lawrence Wright
Ann L. Diamond Carl B. Shapiro Ed Grundstrom Jay Ross MacMahon Bryan R. McCarthy Hadden W. Roth
Commissioner Roy Chernus, Marin County Superior Court:
“Individuals exist beneath the surface. Legal Aid gives people not just a voice,
but tangible help when they need it.”
Jonathan Gertler, Chavez & Gertler, Legal Aid of Marin Board
Member: “Legal Aid provides emotional and social support . . . it lets people
know the world has not abandoned them.”
Carl Shapiro, Marin Civil Rights Attorney:
“The purpose of lawyering is to stand as the guardian for poor people who
need lawyers to help them.”
T he Marin County Bar Association President of 1957, leading up to the
incorporation of the Legal Aid Society of Marin, was Bryan McCarthy, now
an active partner in Freitas, McCarthy, MacMahon & Keating. Mr. McCarthy
was one of Legal Aid of Marin’s founders. In 1958, Mr. McCarthy held the list of
approximately 15 - 20 attorneys willing to volunteer time to assist the poor and
needy of Marin with free legal services. “We would meet in the old Tamalpais
Hotel. It became apparent one day that people began to need legal help who
could not afford it” recalls McCarthy. The same task was also performed by
Howard Morehouse according to Robert Smallman. “We all rotated to take cases
other than criminal or divorce. . . . We all served for free.” This grand tradition
continues today through Legal Aid of Marin’s pro bono program.
Legal Aid of Marin has beneﬁtted for ﬁve decades from the hard work and endless
commitment of so many dedicated staff members, board members, community
volunteers and pro bono attorneys. From the ofﬁces on “C” Street in San Rafael
starting in the 1970’s to the Marin Justice Center created in the last several
years, Legal Aid of Marin has consistently served the low-income and vulnerable
residents of Marin County with high quality legal services.
The extraordinary work of the following eleven individuals, among others, was
responsible for shaping Legal Aid of Marin during the 1970’s and 1980’s: Robert
McCreadie, Cecilia Lannon, Wanden Treanor, The Honorable Faye D’Opal, The
Honorable Lynn Duryee, The Honorable Beverly Savitt (ret.), Milt Hyams, Tom
Hendricks, Steve Duditch, Ed Rockman, and William Gorenfeld. Please contact
us if you or other individuals you know have been mistakenly excluded from this
list. We want to know all about our history.
Marin Justice Center
2005 2006 2007
In Kind Support/Volunteer Legal Services $1,185,965 $1,011,760 $1,444,247
Cash & Cash Equivalents $113,148 $110,324 $235,312
Investments/Reserves $0 $209,248 $220,813
Total Liabilities and Net Assets $593,429 $643,318 $710,453
Salaries, Payroll Taxes and Beneﬁts $521,353 $529,177 $555,244
Other Operating Expenses*** $219,565 $248,466 $282,061
***Legal Aid of Marin’s annual audit is available upon request.
New Cases Opened New & On-going Cases 1932
2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007
Programs = 82%
Administration = 11%
Fundraising = 7%
Grants and Contracts* = 70%
Program Service Income** = 18%
Contributions = 6%
Special Event = 5%
Interest = 1%
* Legal Aid of Marin has not received any restricted federal funding since 2001.
Government grants from the State of California represent less than 15% of all
** Program Service Income includes attorney’s fees, claims administration fees and
grants/contracts that require a regular report and invoice for reimbursement.
M arin residents with extremely low incomes face many challenges as a result of their lack
of ﬁnancial resources -- food insecurity, the inability to ﬁnd and secure stable housing,
inadequate health care, and other struggles to meet basic needs. They also cannot afford legal
representation. Everyone needs access to justice in order to prosper.
The main barrier to access to legal services in Marin and throughout the United States is
income. Yet poverty is not the only obstacle to justice. Limited English, lack of education and
unfamiliarity with the legal system are all factors that prevent low income individuals and families
from accessing needed legal services.
Legal Aid of Marin has developed and participated in legal services and outreach programs
designed to assess and address the legal needs of this population.
Direct Legal Services:
Legal Aid of Marin employs a legal staff consisting of four attorneys and two bilingual legal
assistants. We have also assembled a panel of over 200 pro bono private attorneys working in
Marin and the greater Bay Area who are available to provide services to our clients. This legal
team provides a continuum of services that are tailored to meet each client’s legal needs. These
services range in intensity from simply providing some legal information or a referral all the way
to direct legal representation in court hearings and trials. This approach allows us to provide the
appropriate level of legal service to meet each of our client’s unique needs.
Legal Aid of Marin predominantly handles housing (tenant rights), employment (worker rights)
and consumer (mostly debtor rights) legal matters in addition to dependency (abuse and neglect)
law, family law and a host of other civil legal issues.
Marin Medical-Legal Partnership:
Legal Aid of Marin created the Marin Medical-Legal Partnership in November 2006 with the goal
of improving the health of children, families and individual adults by integrating legal assistance
into the clinical setting. Our current partner in the project is the Marin Community Clinics.
Our vision is to expand the Medical-Legal model to include partners that serve West Marin and
Specialized Legal Clinics:
Legal Aid of Marin provides the following Pro Bono Clinics and Workshops on a regular basis
based on the need from the community: (1) Consumer, Debt and Contracts; (2) Wills, Trusts and
Estate Planning; (3) Family Law and Divorce; (4) Bankruptcy; and (5) Labor and Employment/
Worker issues. These clinics may be for groups, but most are individualized appointments. The
Clinics and Workshops take place at Legal Aid of Marin at the Marin Justice Center as well as
Whistlestop in San Rafael, the Mill Valley Community Center, or as arranged.
Homeless Outreach Project:
The Homeless Outreach Project was designed by Legal Aid of Marin to improve access to legal
services for homeless individuals and families. In 2007, we served over 75 homeless clients as
part of an incentive for participation in the Marin Homeless Count and through the ﬁrst Marin
Project Homeless Connect. The need for access to these services is critical on an ongoing basis
so we have set up ofﬁce hours at The Ritter Center in San Rafael to address legal needs where the
homeless seek other services. We will actively partner with Homeward Bound in Novato and the
St. Vincent DePaul Society Dining Hall should this project become funded.
Earn It! Keep It! Save It!:
The United Way of the Bay Area supported Legal Aid of Marin’s participation in a series of
community tax preparation events. Legal Aid of Marin has a bilingual notary on staff and she
has been integral to the completion of fully executed Individual Tax Identiﬁcation Number
applications that will allow an individual or family to pay income taxes for the ﬁrst time.
Seniors Against Investment Fraud:
The California Department of Corporations provides the materials and we ﬁnd the audiences
and make presentations to older adults about avoiding scams and ﬁnancial elder abuse. Marin
residents in assisted living facilities, complexes occupied by primarily older adults and senior
community centers have been particularly receptive. Legal Aid of Marin averages approximately
one presentation every month.
Legal Aid of Marin has offered foreclosure avoidance and advice workshops since the crisis arrived
in 2007. We have recruited local attorneys to assist in the community discussions. This level of
information will most likely serve our clients well for the foreseeable future.
Pro Bono Program:
Legal Aid of Marin relies on the support of multiple attorneys that donate time and resources to
assist our clients when our limited resources are over stretched. In 2006 and 2007, our volunteers
donated over 4,800 pro bono (free) hours constituting a total in-kind contribution to Legal Aid
of Marin of more than $2,400,000.
Legal Aid of Marin staff members offer weekly appointments at the Novato Human Needs and
the Canal Alliance. We also attend to patients of the Marin Community Clinics on a weekly basis
in both Novato and Greenbrae and we will expand this to the Canal when the new Clinic opens.
Appointments are necessary and drop-ins depend on the availability and schedule of staff.
O ur client is a Vietnam veteran. Circumstances caused him to dedicate his life to raise the
children of his recently deceased wife, including a six-year old. He then found himself in
a difﬁcult situation – facing eviction – because his wife had failed to add him to her subsidized
lease. Despite his sympathetic pleas for his continued tenancy, the management of the complex
took an aggressive stance against our client. After extensive preparation for trial, including 258
hours dedicated by pro bono counsel, a settlement was reached allowing our client and the two
children to remain at the complex.
A n employee, even if they are treated as part of the family, is still entitled to labor protection.
Our client worked for a family performing multiple tasks for a lengthy period of time with-
out proper compensation. The matter was promptly ﬁled with the California Labor Commission
to preserve her claims to just pay. The parties agreed to mediation prior to a hearing. Several
weeks of preparation and negotiation resulted in the case settling favorably.
A n older adult client was solicited at a supermarket by a local representative of a national
optical company who offered to clean our client’s eye glasses for free. While cleaning the
glasses, the representative broke the frames. It cost our client $559.00 to replace the frame and
the prescription lenses. Legal Aid of Marin wrote a demand letter and the costs of the new glasses
were fully reimbursed.
O ur client was referred to Legal Aid of Marin by her physician through our Marin Medical-
Legal Partnership. Client is the single mother of four young children. The landlord had
failed to properly address an extensive mold problem in the apartment. Our client’s one-year old
was particularly suffering poor health from the mold. Legal Aid of Marin intervened by contact-
ing the landlord and shortly thereafter our client was released from her lease, her security deposit
was returned in full and she moved her family into a mold free apartment.
“If it were not for Legal Aid, I would not
have my kids right now.”
Older Adult Client:
“I don’t know what I would have
done. Legal Aid is a treasure.”
Kerry Pierson - Trustee for the Poor
and Needy, Marin Community
Foundation, Former Board Member
and Client Representative.
I n addition to our work with individual clients, Legal Aid of Marin utilizes strategies to effect
changes that help our clients by tackling the systemic problems that create barriers to accessing
the justice system. These strategies include impact litigation often pursued in conjunction with
co-counsel. All of these cases were successfully resolved except one which is still pending.
Substandard Housing Conditions:
Bonner v. Gateway Apartments (2007) concerns an alleged design or construction defect that is
believed to have impacted all of the nearly 300 units in a Marin City apartment complex.
Westman v. D.M. Jacobson and Sons (2002) involved alleged toxic mold exposure causing
horrendous health effects for a mother and daughter.
Bernabe v. AMK Enterprises (2005) was ﬁled against two Jack-in-the Box franchises alleging
failure to pay overtime, meal and rest periods as well as unsafe working conditions and sexual
Gutierrez v. Magruder (2004) alleged a Marin McDonalds restaurant cheated workers out of
overtime, rest and meal breaks, shaving employee time from payroll reports and having employees
work under more than one name to avoid paying overtime.
DeLeon v. Nana Enterprises dba Travelodge Mill Valley (2005) concerned overtime, meal and
rest period and other labor code violations. Eligible workers collected a check from Legal Aid of
Marin based on the number of pay periods worked.
Escobar v. Peck Sosa, Inc. dba Building Care Systems (2005) named Legal Aid of Marin as
the Claims Administrator. Our task was to communicate with current and former employees
concerning a settlement that allowed compensation for failure to pay overtime. Nearly 100
claimants were identiﬁed and paid.
LeSage v. LCT (2005) vindicated tenants that alleged older adults were enticed to move to
affordable housing based on low rents, but their six month lease expired and rents were increased
up to 14%. The matter was resolved favorably in 2006.
Contempo Marin Homeowners Association v. Manufactured Home Communities (2000) settled
before the Marin County Superior Court, but a federal action challenging rent control for the
mobile home park is still pending in federal court. We continue to closely advise Contempo
residents after eight years of litigation.
receive a settlement check
Grantors, Sponsors & Corporate Donors
California Department of Corporations JAMS, The Resolution Experts
Fair Housing of Marin Jerry Wilson Memorial Foundation
First 5 Marin – Children & Families Commission JoVino Café & Wine Bar
Irene S. Scully Family Foundation Kecker & Van Nest LLP
Kenneth Frank Accountancy
The Marcled Foundation
Killingsworth & Holzwarth
Marin Community Foundation Kimberly Skin Care
Marin County – Board of Supervisors La Boulange, Café & Bakery
Marin County – Department of Health & Law Ofﬁce of Philip M. Levin
Human Services, Division of Aging Law Ofﬁce of Renee Chernus
Morris Stulsaft Foundation Lilli S. Salon
State Bar of California – Live Art – Carole Watanabe
Administrative Ofﬁce of the Courts
Mains + Bloom
Equal Access Fund Marin Community Foundation
Income on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Marin County Bar Association
United Way of the Bay Area – Program and Marin Independent Journal
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Marin Magazine
VanLobenSels/Rembe Rock Foundation Meredith Weinstein & Numbers
Zellerbach Family Foundation Michael Johnson Performance, Inc.
Michelle Maloy Massage
Corporate Donors/Sponsors Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
Pacheco Ranch Winery
Ace Wasabi’s Rock & Roll Sushi Pave & Bogaards
Ackeret – Sheron, LLP Piperade
Allianz Legal & Compliance Plastiris & Terrizzi
Amici’s Pizzeria PLS Paciﬁc Laser Systems
Aquarium of the Bay Presidio Bank
Architecture Studio Ragghianti Freitas LLP
Ashley Morgan Designs Raindance Spa
Atlantis Charters Ritz Carlton – San Francisco
Bak in Action Robata Sushi
Bank of Marin Ross Valley Winery
Bay Club of Marin Rotary of Tiburon
Blum Capital LP Rouda Feder Tietjin & Zanobini
Body, Mind, Spirit Sabor of Spain
Bourhis Mann Law Firm San Rafael Joe’s
Brayton * Purcell LLP See’s Candies
Brewer Philips Salon (Laura Iniguez) Scheer & Imfeld
Center for Judicial Excellence Schneider & Wallace
Chavez & Gertler LLP Sharp & Brown
China Basin Charters Silveri & Silveri
Color Color Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine
Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy Sonoma Taco Shop
Delﬁno Green & Green St. Vincent de Paul
Duane Morris Law Firm Steyer Lowenthal
Emison Hullverson Bonagofsky LLP Sutter Instrument Group
Farella Braun + Martel LLP Sutton Mediation Services
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. T & B Sports
First Republic Bank Talamantes Villegas & Carrera LLP
Freitas McCarthy MacMahon & Keating Tamalpais Bank
Gap Foundation Gift Match Program Thomas Hullverson Foundation
Hanson Bridgett LLP Trinchero Family Wines
Harmony Restaurant Tully’s Coffee
Heller Ehrman Whitman Unicorn Printing Specialists
Hilltop Charitable Group The Warren Law Firm
Il Davide Wells Fargo
Il Fornaio Women’s Club of Marin
Abesa, Cynthia & Hogle, Sean Doherty, Colleen Konopken, Martin Rockman, Edward
Acevedo, Sandra D’Opal, Faye & Kramer, Shelley Rosenberg, Steven
Adams, Hon. Verna Wanden Treanor Fund Krause, Marshall Rosenblatt, Carolyn
Arnold, Elizabeth Dresow, Charles Kundrot, Jason Roth, Hadden
Atterman, Kenneth Drexler, Kenneth Kwok, Minette Rottger, Elizabeth
Babikian, Jeffrey Edgemon, Pauline & Dennis Lambert, Peter Rusche, Conn & Susan
Baer, David Ellis, Benson Landers, Elizabeth Russell, Kerry
Ball, Kathryn & Robert Erickson, Robert Leone, Jonathan Samuels, Michael
Baskin, Larry Fawcett, F. Congor Leoni, Marguerite Sandman, Peter
Batie, Laura Fay, Joel Lerner, Esther Savitt, Hon. Beverly Ret.
Becker, Jules & Jody Feeney, John LeSage, Monique Scheer, Spencer
Becker, Ruben Feingold, David Levenson, Myra Schenk, Eric
Beer, Thomas Feldman, Phillip & Lisa Levin, A. & Bertrand, J. Schoppert, Jeffrey
Berberian, Edward Fitch, Cecelia Lippenberger, Carl Schujman, Elidia Doldan
Berland, Allan Frieman, Jonathan Lippman, Eliot Schwartz, Jennifer
Berryman, Jill Fullerton, Dr. John Locke, R. Christopher Schwartzbach, Gerald
Berger, Sally Gabianelli, David Long, David Seiling, Jeralyn
Bloch, Eleanor Gack, Kenneth Mah, Sharon & Wei, Chris Sharyon, Peggy & Leon
Bloomberg, Judith George, J. Frank Mahoney, Ann Shen, John
Bogaards, Debra & Pieter Gertler, Jon Malkin, Martin Sherwood, Janet
Bordon, David & Jean Getchell, Marlene Maslow, Lisa Sievers, Daria
Boren, Hon. Terrance Giacomini, Andrew McEntyre, Barbara Silvestri, George
Bornstein, Izzy Gilardi, Susan McIntosh, Wayne Simmons, Kelly
Bortel, Allan Gilmore, Rita McKenney, James Simson, Garrity & Innes
Boudett, John Ginaleski, Mark McNear, Daniel & Kathleen Sloan, Kathleen
Brandes, Beth & Julian Goldfein, Lisa Michaels, Spencer Small, Annie
Breiner, Deborah Grant, Shirley Mills, Robert Snyder, Darin & Claire
Breiner, Hon. Richard Ret. Green, C. Clay Mitchell, Gail Sorenson, Neil
Bridges, Cecelia Grinnell, Daniel Mitchell, Gladyne Spaeth, Joseph
Broderick, Hon. Henry Ret. Grove, Hon. Mary Ret. Montizambert, Gerald Strick, Lawrence
Brown, Judith Austin Guthrie, James Morales, Christopher Sutton, David & Claudia
Caldwell, Edwin Train Haakenson, Hon. Paul Moran, Neil Tarrent, Richard & Linda
Caldwell, Michael Train Halbert, Mary Muirhead, Mary Anne Taylor, Faye
Cariere, Jim Hale, Jim & Denise Mulberg, Frank Thayer, Joan
Castrejon, Rachel Hansen, Kent Multhap, Eric Thompson, Roderick
Chambers, Tim Hanson, Marka Mussallem, Alexandra Thompson, Todd
Campbell, Rory Harris, Daniel Nardell, J.T. Treanor, Wanden &
Champoux, Ronald Hedin, Todd Nevins, Sheila Faye D’Opal Fund
Chang, Jenie & Harwood, Ben Hernandez, Rocio Nicholls, Don Trutner, Cynthia
Chernus, Roy & Renee Horngrad, Douglas O’Connor, Eileen Turner, Kim
Chertok, Maria Ramos Hotchkin, Elizabeth Okimoto, Minette Van Camp, Margaret
Coggleshall, Chuck Hullverson, John Overline, Dr. Harry Varian, Susan & Bob
Cohen, Carolyn Humphries, Donald & Virginia Parnes, Mark Viet, Julie
Cohen, Paul S. Jernstedt, Karen Pave, Robert Veith, Nancy
Cole, Eda John, George Perry, Warren Wachtel, Arthur
Connolly, Dawn & Damon Johnson, William Phillips, Scott Wallace, Randy
Corbett, Amy Jones, Katherine & Peter Phillips, David Wasserman, Steven
Coury, Dave Jordan, Beth Pittman, Merri White, Matt
Crecelius, Kathleen Keating, A. J. Poindexter, James Wilson, Karen
Crocker, Aaron Kenney, Elaine & Robert Putz, C. Delos Wilson, Tom
Crosland, Royda Kenyon, Richard Redding, William Winston, Paul & Bonnie
Culver, John & Johnson, Katheryn Kerns, Robert Resolution Remedies Wolf, Michael
Dauven, Wendy Killion, Paul Rice, Mark Worthington, William
Davenport, Candice Kinsey, Sup. Steve Rifkind, Leonard Wright, Lawrence
Davis, Charles Kloenhamer, Janet & Larry Ritchie, Hon. James
Legal Aid’s mission is to improve social justice, economic equity and opportunity,
and to assure due process and equal protection of the law, by providing low-income
and vulnerable Marin residents (poor people, children, seniors, immigrants, people
with disabilities, and the homeless) with access to high-quality, effective legal services,
including direct representation and pro per support services, as well as through
Legal Aid of Marin provides assistance in civil legal matters to low-income Marin
residents and all older adults.
Legal Aid of Marin serves over 1,500 individuals and families annually.
All donations and sponsors listed are reﬂected in our records.
If our records are inaccurate, we sincerely apologize.
Please contact us to make a correction at (415) 492-0230 ext. 309.
Legal Aid of Marin is a private, non-proﬁt organization, and we rely on both
individual and corporate donations. Thank you for your support.
Legal Aid of Marin was the 2008 Recipient of the Marin Community
Foundation Beryl H. Buck Award for Achievement in Promoting Social Justice.
Nominated by Bank of Marin.
“Thanks to Legal Aid of Marin I will be moving on to a new employer shortly
– someone who pays me a living wage.”
“I can only thank you, they returned my money that I had taken from me.”
“The problem was solved with one outside phone call on my behalf. I will be
“Thanks for being there for me in a time of great need!!”
LEGAL AID of MARIN
STAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PAUL S. COHEN ANDREW GIACOMINI
Executive Director President
JAN BALDWIN KENNETH L FRANK
NANCY MURPHY JANET S KLOENHAMER
Pro Bono Manager Secretary
MARIKO NAKANISHI DEBRA F BOGAARDS
Staff Attorney RENEE CHERNUS
SUSAN VARIAN DAVID A GABIANELLI
Supervising Attorney JONATHAN GERTLER
BROOKE THACHER JOHN E. HULLVERSON
Staff Attorney MARTIN M. KONOPKEN
NEAL SIMON NEIL MORAN
Social Work Supervisor ALEXANDRA MUSSALLEM
SANDRA ESQUIVIAS DAVID SUTTON
Legal Assistant ANGELA WARREN
HORACE DE LA VEGA VOLUNTEERS
JESSICA DIAZ Volunteer Attorney
LEGAL AID of MARIN
30 N. San Pedro Rd., Suite 220
San Rafael, CA 94903
Tax ID: 94-1419330